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posted on 16 December 2016

Investing.com Weekly Wrap-up 16 December 2016

Written by , Investing.com

U.S. stocks lower at close of trade; Dow Jones Industrial Average down 0.04%

U.S. stocks were lower after the close on Friday, as losses in the Technology, Basic Materials and Financials sectors led shares lower.

At the close in NYSE, the Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 0.04%, while the S&P 500 index lost 0.18%, and the NASDAQ Composite index declined 0.36%.

The best performers of the session on the Dow Jones Industrial Average were UnitedHealth Group Incorporated (NYSE:UNH), which rose 2.07% or 3.32 points to trade at 163.94 at the close. Meanwhile, General Electric Company (NYSE:GE) added 1.57% or 0.49 points to end at 31.75 and The Travelers Companies Inc (NYSE:TRV) was up 1.00% or 1.20 points to 121.60 in late trade.

The worst performers of the session were Caterpillar Inc (NYSE:CAT), which fell 2.06% or 1.95 points to trade at 92.58 at the close. Goldman Sachs Group Inc (NYSE:GS) declined 1.69% or 4.10 points to end at 238.90 and Visa Inc (NYSE:V) was down 1.45% or 1.15 points to 78.35.

The top performers on the S&P 500 were First Solar Inc (NASDAQ:FSLR) which rose 7.67% to 35.11, Williams Companies Inc (NYSE:WMB) which was up 5.80% to settle at 30.81 and Endo International PLC (NASDAQ:ENDP) which gained 3.75% to close at 16.03.

The worst performers were Nordstrom Inc (NYSE:JWN) which was down 8.68% to 50.48 in late trade, Kohl’s Corporation (NYSE:KSS) which lost 7.97% to settle at 51.14 and Macy’s Inc (NYSE:M) which was down 6.65% to 37.47 at the close.

The top performers on the NASDAQ Composite were Aptose Biosciences Inc (NASDAQ:APTO) which rose 45.71% to 1.530, Wins Finance Holdings Inc (NASDAQ:WINS) which was up 44.44% to settle at 162.64 and Evoke Pharm (NASDAQ:EVOK) which gained 43.75% to close at 2.07.

The worst performers were RXI Pharmaceuticals Corp (NASDAQ:RXII) which was down 38.67% to 0.8463 in late trade, xG Technology Inc (NASDAQ:XGTI) which lost 28.12% to settle at 2.3000 and XBiotech Inc (NASDAQ:XBIT) which was down 22.21% to 9.98 at the close.

Rising stocks outnumbered declining ones on the New York Stock Exchange by 1819 to 1406 and 35 ended unchanged; on the Nasdaq Stock Exchange, 1339 fell and 1196 advanced, while 102 ended unchanged.

Shares in UnitedHealth Group Incorporated (NYSE:UNH) rose to all time highs; rising 2.07% or 3.32 to 163.94. Shares in The Travelers Companies Inc (NYSE:TRV) rose to all time highs; gaining 1.00% or 1.20 to 121.60. Shares in RXI Pharmaceuticals Corp (NASDAQ:RXII) fell to all time lows; losing 38.67% or 0.5337 to 0.8463.

The CBOE Volatility Index, which measures the implied volatility of S&P 500 options, was down 4.85% to 12.17.

Gold for February delivery was up 0.50% or 5.65 to $1135.45 a troy ounce. Elsewhere in commodities trading, Crude oil for delivery in January rose 2.14% or 1.09 to hit $51.99 a barrel, while the February Brent oil contract rose 2.39% or 1.29 to trade at $55.31 a barrel.

EUR/USD was up 0.31% to 1.0446, while USD/JPY fell 0.18% to 117.98.

The US Dollar Index was down 0.28% at 102.86.

Read additional news from Reuters at Investing.com.

Forex

The dollar trimmed losses and held steady against the other majors currencies on Friday, as the Federal Reserve’s decision to raise interest rates this week continued to support the greenback at 14-year highs.

EUR/USD was almost unchanged at 1.0408, off the previous session’s 14-year low of 1.0363.

The greenback rallied after the Fed concluded its policy meeting on Wednesday by raising interest rates by 25 basis points and projected three more rate hikes for 2017.

It was the Fed’s first rate hike since December 2015.

The U.S. Commerce Department said earlier Friday that housing starts tumbled 18.7% to hit 1.090 million units last month from October’s total of 1.340 million units, an upward revision from the initial 1.323 million.

Analysts had expected November’s reading to fall to only 1.230 million units.

Meanwhile, U.S. building permits dropped 4.7% to 1.201 million units last month from 1.260 million in October. Economists had forecast the units to fall to 1.240 million units in November.

Elsewhere, GBP/USD added 0.17% to 1.2437, after falling to a three-week trough of 1.2372 on Thursday.

The pound remained mildy supported after the Bank of England’s decision to keep interest rates at a record low of 0.25% and the bank's bond-buying program target at £435 billion.

USD/JPY held steady at 118.22, while USD/CHF was almost unchanged at 1.0295.

The Australian and New Zealand dollars pushed lower, with AUD/USD down 1.01% at a six-month low of 0.6947 and with NZD/USD tumbling 1.29% to a six-month low of 0.6945.

Meanwhile, USD/CAD gained 0.35% to trade at 1.3385.

The U.S. dollar index, which measures the greenback’s strength against a trade-weighted basket of six major currencies, was steady at 103.22 just after noon, off session low of 102.75 and close to the previous session’s 14-year peak of 103.56, before closing down 0.28% at 102.86..

CTFC Commitment of Traders

This week speculators became less bearish on the euro; more bearish on the yen; crude oil net longs rose to a 2-year high.

Note: This data is for the week ending on Tuesday so the last three days of trading are not reflected.

cot.2016.dec.14

Gold

Gold prices bounced off the previous session’s ten-month lows on Friday, but gains were expected to remain limited as the Federal Reserve’s decision to raise interest rates this week continued to lend broad support to the U.S. dollar.

On the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange, gold futures for February delivery were up 0.56% at $1,136.15, off Thursday’s 10-month trough of $1,123.90.

The February contract ended Thursday’s session 2.91% lower at $1,129.80 an ounce.

Futures were likely to find support at $1,123.90, Thursday’s low and resistance at $1,164.00, Wednesday’s high.

The greenback found broad support after the Fed concluded its policy meeting on Wednesday by raising interest rates by 25 basis points and projected three more rate hikes for 2017.

The dollar was also boosted after the U.S. Labor Department reported on Thursday that initial jobless claims fell to 254,000 last week.

A separate report showed that the U.S. consumer price index rose 0.2% last month, in line with expectations. Year-on-year, consumer prices increased by 1.7%.

In addition, the Philly Fed manufacturing index climbed to a two-year high of 21.5 this month from 7.6 in November, blowing past expectations for a reading of 9.0.

The U.S. dollar index, which measures the greenback’s strength against a trade-weighted basket of six major currencies, was down 0.21% at 102.93, still close to the previous session’s 14-year high of 103.56.

A stronger U.S. dollar usually weighs on gold, as it dampens the metal's appeal as an alternative asset and makes dollar-priced commodities more expensive for holders of other currencies.

The outlook for gold in 2017 is for some upside potential.

Elsewhere in metals trading, silver futures for March delivery jumped 1.22% to $16.152 a troy ounce, while copper futures for March delivery dropped 0.56% to $2.586 a pound.

Oil

Oil prices settled higher today, notching gains for the week.

Oil traders emboldened the fact that that some foreign oil producers are adhering to their promise to pull back on output.

On the New York Mercantile Exchange, the West Texas Intermediate Crude oil contract for January increased by $1, or 2%, settling at $51.90 a barrel. Prices rose approximately 0.8% for the week.

For February Brent oil, traders added $1.19, or 2.2%, to $55.21 a barrel on London’s ICE Futures exchange. Prices were approximately 1.7% higher for the whole week.

There are some worries in the market about production increases in the U.S. and Libya.

Prices had trended lower earlier in the day, amid news that Libya has restarted operations at two key oil fields.

President Obama mentioned Russian oil production briefly during his final White House press conference this afternoon, saying that the country had "no innovation" and nothing that anyone wanted to buy except "oil and some weapons." But it may have been too late in the trading day to impact prices and opinions on Friday.

Natural Gas (Thursday Report)

No report this week.

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